Physiatry, also called physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), is a medical specialty that primarily uses physical means to help in diagnosis, healing, and rehabilitation. Physiatrists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with chronic illness (e.g., stroke) or injury (e.g., spinal cord, brain), acute and chronic pain, and musculoskeletal injuries (e.g., sports-, work-related). Many physiatrists specialize in the treatment of back pain. Physiatrists treat the whole person. They address the patient’s physical, emotional, and social needs during rehabilitation. Physiatrists direct the rehabilitation team that may include physical or occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, social workers, athletic trainers, and more. PM&R doctors work in a variety of settings including clinics, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers.
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